Summerslam 2006
Date: August 20, 2006
Location: TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 16,168
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, Tazz, Joey Styles, John Bradshaw Layfield

This is an interesting show as a lot has changed since last year but WWE is still in the same kind of situation: the shows are coming and going and not a lot is changing. The shows aren’t bad, but there’s nothing that feels like required viewing. This year we have DX vs. the McMahons, Edge defending the Raw Title against Cena, Batista challenging King Booker for the Smackdown Title, Flair vs. Foley in an I Quit match, Hogan vs. Randy Orton and the first ECW Title match in WWE PPV history. The card is stacked but nothing on here feels must see. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is about DX taking over the company with their sophomoric jokes. The other matches get some lip service as well.

Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero

Guerrero claimed that Rey was leeching off the Guerrero name, which he totally was but Guerrero is still playing the heel here. We get videos on Eddie’s relationships with both Rey and Chavo, conveniently ignoring Rey vs. Eddie from last year. Apparently Chavo is coming out of retirement for one night only. The brawl is on fast and JBL is WAY into it already. Chavo hits a quick uppercut and catches a standing Lionsault into a powerslam position, only to have Rey armdrag him out to the floor.

Mysterio misses a plancha to the floor and Chavo hits a big dive of his own to take over. Chavo shouts that it’s his blood instead of Rey’s as JBL calls this the biggest comeback since the resurrection. Rey charges into the corner but Chavo drops him face first onto the buckle to put him down again. Chavo does the Eddie dance, drawing the crowd into the Eddie chant. The masked dude is knocked to the floor and then face first into the buckle to keep him on defense.

Chavo puts him on the top rope and tries to powerbomb Rey to the floor but Rey fights out to avoid death. They facejam each other down to the mat and both guys are in trouble. Back up and Rey gets two off a springboard cross body. A hard kick to the head gets the same for Rey before he hurricanranas Chavo into the 619. The seated senton misses and Mysterio hurricanranas both guys out to the floor.

Chavo takes control and sends Rey back in but here’s Vickie to yell at him. Rey dives off the apron with something the camera misses to take out Chavo and we head back inside. Chavo hits two of the Three Amigos as Vickie is screeching at them to stop fighting. Rey hits the Three Amigos and goes up top but Vickie keeps shouting at him to stop before accidentally crotching him down. Chavo hits a brainbuster and the frog splash for the pin.

Rating: C+. The match was entertaining enough but the bleeding dry of Eddie’s corpse is well beyond old here. Seriously, they were fighting over who was really defending Eddie’s honor. It was fun stuff but the Vickie screeching is getting already getting annoying. She’s been around seven years. How is that possible?

Booker is holding the title with a maniacal look in his eyes. He rants in a British accent for a bit and says he and Sharmell are the most powerful couple in wrestling. This brings in Edge and Lita who just happened to be standing off camera when Booker said that. They debate how important they are and make a wager: if Booker loses he has to be Edge’s servant but if Edge loses he has to kiss Booker’s feet.

This is a good example of what I mean when I talk about the show looking too structured. Why were Edge and Lita right there to respond to those comments? It comes off as so fake and set up in advance that it kills whatever air of realism the show has. Have Booker say they’re the powerful couple, then have Edge and Lita come in later in the show. Same amount of time spent, same result, doesn’t look forced. Why is this so complicated?

ECW Title: Big Show vs. Sabu

Big Show is defending after Sabu beat Van Dam in a ladder match this past week. It’s extreme rules, which is a rarity for these title matches anymore. Sabu starts fast by swinging a chair and gets a quick one count off the Arabian Facebuster. The chair is set up in the middle of the ring but Big Show drops Sabu face first onto the steel. Big Show crushes the chair with his boot and chops Sabu down with ease.

We hit an early bearhug but Sabu pokes the eyes to escape. A springboard is caught in a fallaway slam from Big Show to send Sabu to the outside. The small one grabs a chair to blast Show in the face before dropkicking it into Show’s face. Sabu it too banged up to immediately cover so it’s only a one count. With nothing else working, Sabu loads up a table in the corner and hits a tornado DDT for no cover.

Sabu finally knocks him through the table off a springboard from the chair but Show pops up and electric chairs Sabu down. A Vader Bomb crushes Sabu and Show brings in two sets of steps. He bridges a table across them but his chokeslam is countered into a DDT through the table. Sabu sets up another table but charges into a chokeslam through it for the pin.

Rating: D. I don’t care. Seriously that’s the first thing that came to my head. This was less than nine minutes and the ending was never in double at all. At least a third of the match was spent setting up the next spot, especially near the end. The early days of WWECW with the old ECW guys were just torture to get through as it was clearly trying to recreate magic and it wasn’t anything of note. Dull match here and it would be several months before ECW picked up.

Layla won the Diva Search earlier this week.

The Divas welcome Layla to the company. These stupid girl power segments got old fast. Everyone gets on her and then say they’re all kidding. Layla is dragged into the shower and spanked for her initiation. Everyone is clothed so this goes nowhere.

We recap Hogan vs. Orton. Hogan is a legend, Orton is the legend killer, I think you can do the math. There was a stupid bit with Orton hitting on Brooke thrown in which went nowhere.

Randy Orton vs. Hulk Hogan

Hogan has a bad leg coming in, meaning he’s perfectly normal. Hulk easily shoves Orton down out of lockup to start before running him down with a shoulder block. The bandana goes into Orton’s face before Randy grabs a headlock. Hogan fights out with a top wristlock as we’re still going very slowly so far, much to Hogan’s liking. Randy finally gets in some shots to the face to put Hogan down, thereby making him the biggest heel in the world.

Hogan fights Orton off in the corner and sends him into the buckle. Almost all Hogan so far which continues as Hogan pounds down right hands in the corner. He bites Randy’s forehead and pokes him in the eye to keep us firmly in the mid-80s. Hogan rakes his back and pounds away on the mat before threatening the referee with a right hand. Orton holds the ropes on an Irish whip and pulls Hogan to the mat to work on the knee.

Back in and Orton cannonballs down on the leg before doing a short form of the circle stomp. A chop block puts Hulk down again but he ducks/collapses to avoid a high cross body. Hogan pounds away but misses the big boot, allowing Orton to dropkick him down. The RKO connects for three but Hogan’s foot was on the ropes. Orton argues with the referee, Hulk Hulks Up and the legdrop ends it.

Rating: D. Well let’s see: the booking was out of the 80s, Hogan broke a sweat for maybe a minute, and Orton was pinned clean by a 50+ year old man in about eleven minutes. This is the opposite of last year with Shawn as Michaels didn’t have much to gain from a win. Orton on the other hand could have ridden this win for months, but instead we get Hogan’s last WWE match (which you couldn’t have known at the time) as a tribute to him, complete with the 1985 formula all over again. Not a fan of this but you had to know it was coming.

We look at a big party yesterday which is exactly what you would think it was. This was also the announcement for WWE 24/7, which was nowhere near as cool as it sounded.

Melina isn’t sure if Foley can beat Flair but he freaks out on her, saying he’ll do it. This was an awkward on screen relationship.

Ric Flair vs. Mick Foley

In something else that was kind of awkward, these two traded shots at each other in their books with Foley saying Flair wrestled the same match for years and Flair calling Foley a glorified stunt man. Tonight is an I Quit match and it’s all about respect. Foley jumps Flair in the corner and pounds away before hitting the running knee to the head. A running trashcan shot to the head has Flair in early trouble and it’s already Socko time. Flair won’t give up so Foley says he’ll suffer.

Foley wraps barbed wire around the sock but Flair grabs Mick’s crotch to block it. We’re not even two minutes into this and we’ve already had a crotch grab. A low blow puts Mick down and Flair wraps the barbed wire sock around his hand for some chops. Ric sends Foley knees first into the steps but Foley rams him into the announce table to get a breather. Foley pulls out a barbed wire board and blasts Flair in the back with it to make Naitch scream.

We head inside again and the fans want fire. Flair is busted open (duh) so Foley rubs the barbed wire over the cut for good measure. A barbed wire board to the head and the shoulder have Flair in even more trouble but he tells Foley to kiss something instead of quitting. Foley spreads out the thumbtacks and slams Ric down onto them in a scary looking but perfectly safe spot. Think about it: the tacks are what, half an inch long? All they’re going to go into is fat so while it’ll hurt, there’s no real danger to the spot. It’s like being stung by a bunch of bees.

Anyway Flair still won’t quit so Foley brings in the barbed wire ball bat to cut at Flair’s head even more. Flair hits his second low blow to escape before sending him shoulder first into the post. The ball bat to the shoulder has Foley in big trouble as Ric goes into old school brawler mode. Foley won’t quit so Flair threatens to kill him by cutting out his heart.

A third low blow has Foley on the apron, allowing for Ric to knock him off the apron and onto the concrete. Foley is apparently out cold so medics and Melina come out to check on him. The trainer says it’s over and the bell rings. That’s not good enough for Flair though and he sends Foley back in to rub the ball bat over Foley’s face again. He runs the barbed wire over Mick’s unconscious eyes and Melina throws in the towel to end it. Wait that’s STILL not good enough for Flair because Foley has to say it. Ric threatens Melina with the ball bat and Foley quits to save her.

Rating: B. This was one heck of a bloodbath until Melina had to get involved. I get that they didn’t want either guy to quit but dang man, did we really need Melina out there? Like I said it never was a good fit on screen and would end with Melina screwing over Foley for no apparent reason. Good match, but Flair flat out doesn’t need to be doing this at his age.

Vince, Shane and Armando Alejandro Estrada (Umaga’s manager) make fun of Foley until Vince asks if they have Umaga’s support tonight. Armando says si.

Smackdown World Title: Batista vs. King Booker

Booker is defending and Batista never lost the title, only being stripped due to injury. This is his first major match since December/January. Booker’s wife Sharmell reaches Vickie levels of annoying by saying ALL HAIL KING BOOKER about 18 times on the way to the ring. Feeling out process to start with Booker taking him into the corner and slapping him across the face. Batista easily shoves him across the ring to prove a point as things are starting slowly.

The champion grabs a headlock but completely misses a spin kick, allowing Batista to counter into a powerslam for two. Booker tries to bail with Sharmell but Batista doesn’t even let him get close. Back in and Booker blocks a Batista Bomb by snapping Batista’s neck across the ropes to take over. We hit a chinlock less than four minutes in and the fans aren’t pleased. Back up and Batista hits a sloppy belly to belly suplex for two but Sharmell sends in the scepter for a cheap shot, giving Booker more control.

Booker goes after the arm, which is the injury that kept Batista on the shelf for so long. That makes too much sense though so it’s off to a regular chinlock. Batista finally gets up and crotches Booker on the top before hitting some weak clotheslines. They head to the floor with Booker sending him into the barricade to take over. A missile dropkick gets two on Big Dave but the ax kick misses. Batista Jackhammers him down for two and busts out a full nelson slam of all things. He loads up the Batista Bomb and Sharmell comes in for the lame DQ.

Rating: D. Well at least it wasn’t that long. These two had horrible chemistry together so of course they had two more PPV matches until Batista finally took the title at Survivor Series. The ending sucked, the match sucked, Batista looked as slow as Hogan out there, and the fans were bored by the match. Sounds like it needs a sequel to me.

Post match Batista “destroys” Booker, which translates to him not being able to get him up for a Batista Bomb until Booker clearly pulls himself up. Again, this feud went on for three more months.

Jeff Hardy is coming back tomorrow. Why bother announcing it when you can have a big surprise like that?

DX talks to someone we can’t see. They tell him how much Vince praised Umaga, calling him the REAL monster in WWE. They leave and whoever was in there bangs on the door.

We recap DX vs. the McMahons. This feud started with Shawn vs. Vince but HBK recruited HHH to help him out. DX destroyed a bunch of Vince’s stuff and made fun of him, basically getting on the nerves of everyone over 17 years old. Vince and Shane brought in everyone imaginable to help them but DX dispatched them easily because they’re both Hall of Famers and they were fighting jobbers to the stars. Umaga was the only one who could beat them one on one, making those matches the only interesting parts of the entire feud.

D-Generation X vs. Vince McMahon/Shane McMahon

Vince and Shane head back to the entrance and send out the Spirit Squad as the first line of defense. Superkicks, backdrops and Pedigrees abound, getting rid of the Raw Tag Champions (the cheerleaders) in less than fifteen seconds. DX beat the Spirit Squad about five times in this whole thing but never won the tag titles. I never quite got why.

Next up are Kennedy, Finlay and Regal who do a bit better thanks to Finlay’s club but only last about 40 seconds. Now it’s Big Show to really challenge DX. Why all nine guys didn’t come out at once is never really addressed. The three midcarders take down HHH on the floor, leaving Shawn alone with Show. A cobra clutch backbreaker and the Log Roll knock Shawn silly as HHH is destroyed. Now the McMahons come to the ring and there’s the opening bell.

Vince slams Shawn down to start and it’s off to Shane for some dancing. He peppers Shawn with left jabs and hits a big right cross to puts him down. HHH is still down from a chokeslam through the announce table. Vince comes back in for something like a clothesline to the ribs and fires off elbows in the corner. A double back elbow puts Shawn down and HHH is finally remembering what planet he’s on. Shane of course slides to the floor to knock him down again, which is pretty smart.

Shane hits a backbreaker on Michaels and it’s back to Papa McMahon. There’s a double elbow but HHH is on his feet. Shane, again, wisely baseball slides him onto the other announce table. The McMahons bust out the Demolition Decapitation and the Hart Attack of all things, complete with signature Bret pose. They even hit a bad looking Doomsday Device but Shawn pops up at two and fires off right hands. Vince sneaks in with a shot to the back and down goes HBK again. Shawn scores with a double clothesline and everyone is down.

HHH is back up on the apron and actually takes the hot tag. Adrenaline kicks in and house is cleaned with a high knee and a neckbreaker to Shane. Clotheslines take both McMahons down and there’s a spinebuster for the young one. Shawn drops the elbow on Vince and hits a Cactus Clothesline to take Shane out.

Here’s Umaga to superkick Shawn and hit a quick Samoan Spike to HHH. This brings out Kane as the guy DX was talking to so he can fight Umaga to the back. Shane can only get two on the Game so Vince punches the referee. Shane loads up a Coast to Coast but Shawn superkicks him out of the air. A trashcan shot to Vince sets up Sweet Chin Music and the Pedigree for the pin.

Rating: B-. That’s about as high as they can get and there’s nothing wrong with that. The booking was as smart as you could get since there might not be two guys in the company that could be a legitimate threat to DX in a straight match so making it eleven on two to start was all they could do. The rest of the match is your usual tag team formula match and that’s all they could do here. The fans popped for the ending too so I can’t complain much.

Wrestlemania 23 is in Detroit.

We recap Edge vs. Cena. Edge won MITB last year at Wrestlemania and cashed in on Cena at New Year’s Revolution nine months later. After some title trading with Van Dam and Cena, Edge wound up with the belt on Raw, setting up the one on one showdown here tonight.

Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Edge

Cena is the hometown boy tonight. If Edge gets disqualified he loses the title. Cena charges him into the corner and the booing begins. John pounds away and gets one off a back elbow and a belly to belly suplex. Edge avoids a charge to send Cena shoulder first into the post and out to the floor. It’s kind of early for that spot. Back in and Edge beats on Cena with basic strikes before knocking him off the apron and into the barricade.

Cena makes it back in at nine but Edge immediately drops an elbow on his back for two more. John makes a comeback with right hands as the fans are booing even louder now. A quick fisherman’s suplex gets two on Edge but he sends Cena over the top and out to the floor for the third time. Back in again and Cena misses a cross body to put him down again. Why it puts Edge down as well isn’t clear.

We hit the chinlock for a good while until Cena breaks the hold with pure power. Cena hits a knee to the chest but walks into a big boot for two. Edge goes up top and fights off Cena so he can hit a top rope clothesline for two. Off to a camel clutch but Cena again powers out of it. Both guys are down so Lita sends in a chair. Edge picks it up before throwing it down out of fear in a cute bit. Cena initiates his finishing sequence but the FU is countered into the Impaler for two.

Edge goes up again but has to escape the FU off the ropes into an electric chair but Cena gets two off a victory roll. A middle rope cross body is rolled through into the FU but a Lita distraction makes Cena drop Edge. The champion is sent into his chick and Cena gets a close two off a rollup. A double clothesline puts both guys down until Edge rolls over for two.

The Canadian is up first but the spear is countered into the STFU. Lita tries to come in with the belt but Edge waves her off and gets the rope. The referee has to drag Cena off, allowing Lita to load up brass knuckles on Edge’s hand. Cena grabs the FU anyway but Lita comes in, only to be thrown on top of Edge in a double FU. How that isn’t a DQ isn’t clear but Cena flips her to the mat, allowing Edge to knock him out with the knuckles to retain the title.

Rating: B-. This took some time to get going but the ending was great. Edge winning is an interesting concept and they would go with the same idea next month when Cena beat Edge in Edge’s signature match in his hometown. The match wasn’t all that good though as it felt like they were just killing time until the end, which makes for a dull match.

Overall Rating: C. Right in the middle is about perfect here as there are almost equal amounts of good and bad. The interesting things about this show are the match lengths. Usually there are some very short matches and one or two longer ones. Here there’s only one match under nine minutes and the longest is the main event which isn’t even sixteen. That makes for a show where there’s nothing huge to save the bad stuff and everything is almost equal in length, meaning you can weigh almost everything the same. The show is definitely watchable but skip Booker vs. Batista.

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